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For UK readers: Petition to Government regarding live music venue licencing

August 24, 2009

The Liberal Democrats have proposed a Live Music Bill, which will exempt venues with a capacity of fewer than 200 from music licensing, exempt performances by two musicians or fewer and ban Form 696.

The Bill has passed its first reading and will be debated later this year.

Please support this Bill by signing the No 10 Petition at:
http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/livemusicevents/

The petition reads:

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to stop criminalising live music with the Licensing Act, and to support amendments backed by the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, and the music industry, which would exempt most small-scale performances in schools, hospitals, restaurants and licensed premises.

Under the Licensing Act, a performance by one musician in a bar, restaurant, school or hospital not licensed for live music could lead to a criminal prosecution of those organising the event. Even a piano may count as a licensable ‘entertainment facility’. By contrast, amplified big screen broadcast entertainment is exempt. The Government says the Act is necessary to control noise nuisance, crime, disorder and public safety, even though other laws already deal with those risks. Musicians warned the Act would harm small events. About 50% of bars and 75% of restaurants have no live music permission.
Obtaining permission for the mildest live music remains costly and time-consuming. In May, the Culture, Media and Sport Committee recommended exemptions for venues up to 200 capacity and for unamplified performance by one or two musicians. The Government said ‘no’, but those exemptions would restore some fairness in the regulation of live music and encourage grassroots venues.

Please also circulate this message and ask your friends to sign in support of the petition. This time we want to send a clear and loud message to Downing Street.

(Most of this article has been adapted from this blog)

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